Robbie Fulks is cleverly twisted, deliciously irreverent, and one of the best of the new country singer/songwriters. Musically, Country Love Songs supplies plenty of hardcore, bottle-tippin', honky tonk country, with a '50s production that sounds like it's supposed to be there. Fulks writes and sings country music that bears little or no resemblance to what dominates the airwaves; rather, his material harks back to an era when humor and dark subject matter shared the same page of a writer's composition book. Paying homage to the classic Bakersfield sound, with former Buckeroo Tom Brumley shining on pedal steel, Fulks delivers "The Buck Starts Here," which just might be the best country song since "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Lyrically, Fulks can travel some pretty spooky highways, as in the descriptive ballad "Barely Human," a drinking song that's as tortured as they get, with the song's character "barely human from twilight till dawn." Other strong tracks include the saga of an aging movie starlet who loses it in "She Took a Lot of Pills (And Died)" -- which first appeared on the second volume of the label's Insurgent Country compilations -- and the swingin' "Every Kind of Music But Country."